Good to meet you Ste­wart De­vitt

The Guardian Weekly - - Diversions - If you would like to ap­pear in this space, send a brief note to guardian.weekly@the­guardian.com

My first con­tact with the Guardian Weekly was in the Belfast ware­house of the Ir­ish print re­tailer Ea­son, sort­ing through the bun­dles of news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines brought back from the docks. It of­ten meant clam­ber­ing into the back of the van to pull out the sought-af­ter copies to en­sure timely de­liv­ery. Fail­ure to do so could trig­ger an irate phone call from my boss, Miss Mar­shall.

She owned a lo­cal newsagency and prided her­self on stock­ing any news­pa­per or pe­ri­od­i­cal a cus­tomer wanted. A missed dead­line there­fore had the po­ten­tial to lead to a ma­jor cri­sis. Maybe this ex­pe­ri­ence ac­counted for my own be­hav­iour when I trans­ferred over to the re­tail side of the busi­ness: deal­ing with cus­tomers want­ing their copy of the Guardian Weekly, and want­ing it on time. This guardian­ship of the pa­per con­tin­ued from Belfast to Dublin to Sh­effield and it was au­to­matic to watch out for copies and have them on the shelves on the right day. When I left the news­pa­per trade I may have thought the ro­mance was over. How wrong could I have been! Find­ing my­self in Auck­land, New Zealand, where Ra­dio NZ cov­ers lo­cal and world news in about 10 min­utes, the Guardian Weekly be­came a life­line to world events.

Great as this was, frus­tra­tions set in with the de­lay in me get­ting copies. Sub­con­sciously I must have re­alised that Miss Mar­shall would never have ac­cepted this so I took the only sen­si­ble op­tion and be­came a sub­scriber. She most likely is look­ing down at me now, proud of the lit­tle role she played in strength­en­ing my link with the Guardian Weekly.

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